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A Consumer Guide To Cremation
Cremation has long been a common method for disposing of remains, but it has perhaps never been more common than it is today. For centuries, cultures – mostly in the eastern hemisphere - have practiced cremation for both spiritual and practical reasons. Cremation has long been believed to be the safest, most sanitary, method, and, in the religious tradition of “ashes to ashes,” cremation has long been widely held to be the best method for the soul. In many ancient cultures, cremation was once held in such esteem that it was reserved exclusively for the most famous and powerful in society, but, in recent decades, that has changed dramatically. Cremation now, across the world, has become dramatically more common than it was even in ancient days, and is a very popular choice among nearly all cultures, regions and religions.
Because cremation has an air of finality about it that can make survivors somewhat uncomfortable, cremation memorials have risen alongside cremation as an important part of the memorial industry. Psychologists and other experts recognize that an important part of the grieving process is to have a special place in which to memorialize a person, and this applies, especially, for those whose cremated ashes have been scattered at sea or across some wide area. To help families feel more comfortable with cremation, then, the memorial industry offers a wide variety of cremation memorial options.
Cremation ashes, of course, can be stored beautifully in a traditional urn as has been the custom across the world for centuries. But that is just the beginning of the options. Cremation ashes can also be shared among any number of family members in special keepsake urns that can each have different designs that reflect different facets of the loved-one’s life and personality. Keepsake jewelry, likewise, can also house tiny portions of cremation ashes in very special pendants that have been hollowed out to store the cremation ashes.
While these later options have come along rather recently, and have quickly become very popular complements to cremation, the tradition of cremation memorials dates back to at least the Ancient Greeks who made cremation urns from a special type of urn called a lekythos. In the days of the Roman Empire, these cremation memorials were often displayed together in a collective tomb called a columbarium.
Cremation memorials, of course, are often still housed in columbarium’s, but it is also common to see private residences play host to cremation memorials, too. Cremation urns are also commonly buried in standard graves often atop the grave of a loved-one.
Whatever their ultimate setting and purpose, cremation memorials are particularly appropriate for memorializing a loved-one because they can be personalized. The unique décor of cremation urns can help cremation memorials speak volumes about the people they memorialize, assuring that memories stay alive for generations to come.